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A Quick Food Guide to Bringing Good Luck in 2014

soba
soba
Flickr/toshikoshi, aka "pass of the year," soba for longevity and prosperity.

Grapes: Spaniards have a tradition of eating 12 grapes around midnight -- one per chime of the clock tower at the Real Casa de Correos in Madrid -- of New Year's Eve. It's then followed by a glass of sparkling wine such as cava. The key is to finish all 12 before the end of the final toll.

Hoppin' John: In the South, the black-eyed peas–and-rice dish of Hoppin' John is where you'll find your luck. Add in a side of greens, maybe collards or kale, which symbolizes money.

French green lentils at Cabbage Patch
French green lentils at Cabbage Patch
A. Scattergood

Lentils: Italians have customarily rung in the new year with lentils, often in a sausage and lentils dish known as cotechino con lenticchie. Lentils are believed to bring good tidings, regardless of which dish you make.

See also: A Recipe From the Chef: Samir Mohajer's French Green Lentils With Avocado

Sauerkraut: It's German tradition to have sauerkraut alongside some kind of pork entrée on New Year's Eve for wealth and blessings. If you miss out on having pork and sauerkraut the night before, you'll get a chance to make up for it on New Year's Day. The Pennsylvanian Dutch of German descent observe the tradition on New Year's Day instead.

Rice Cake Soup: Tteokguk, also known as rice cake soup in Korean, is traditionally eaten on Seollal, or Lunar New Year Day to welcome a new year filled with prosperity. Nowadays, it's just as likely to be enjoyed over the Gregorian calendar New Year's Eve. A little harder to find, you can buy tteok, or rice cakes, at most Korean markets in Los Angeles.

See also: Where to Eat in Los Angeles on New Year's Eve


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